Open Cheques

Open Cheques will only be drawn in exceptional circumstances where the payee, normally a visiting researcher/lecturer/student, has no UK bank account and the duration of their stay forbids them from opening a UK bank account. The funds are required to cover their subsistence for their short stay whilst in the UK. Please note that if a cheque payment is requested through Accounts Payable, the subsequent cheque that is produced cannot be opened due to the fraud prevention service relating to those cheques.

An Open Cheque allows the payee to gain cash at the Barclays Bank Branch situated at 16-17 Tottenham Court Road on production of the cheque along with their passport and open cheque letter.

The procedures for requesting an open cheque is as follows:

  1. Department to complete an Expenses Payment Form in the normal way with the contact name, telephone number and email address of the departmental contact in the address lines of the form.
  2. Completed authorised form along with back up documentation to be sent to Finance & Business Affairs - Treasury, 5th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place.  [If the request is urgent then please arrange for hand delivery.]
  3. If all supporting documentation and authorisation is correct, a cheque will normally be drawn within 48 hours (Monday - Friday) from time of receipt.
  4. The contact (in 1 above) will be informed when the cheque is ready for collection.
  5. The payee will be required to collect the cheque and authorisation letter in person, from Finance & Business Affairs - Treasury (address above), between the hours of 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2.00pm to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.  The payee must have a valid passport as proof of ID for both the signing of the Opening Cheque Authorisation Letter and for presentation at the bank.
  6. The payee should present the open cheque, authorisation letter and passport to Barclays, 16-17 Tottenham Court Road, within 24 hours. It is the payee's responsibility to ensure that they have taken adequate measures to safeguard against loss or theft of either the open cheque or cash.  UCL will not be liable for any such loss.

If further advice or guidance is required please contact

Updated: 25/07/16